Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
Closer Spencer Price came in to record a pair of strikeouts as Mississippi State beat Ole Miss 4-3 in the opening game of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series Thursday night at Swayze Field.
The Bulldogs (17-10 overall, 4-3 SEC) won their fifth straight game overall and fourth straight conference game by rallying from a 3-0 deficit. MSU has come from behind to win 10 times this season.
"What a win this was," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "We talk all the time about playing nine full innings of baseball. We did a lot of things great there at the end of the game. Cole Gordon had a great hit to tie the game. The bullpen was great. Riley Self and Spencer Price were incredible."
"This win feels like two wins. It was a team win and a great way to start the series."
MSU flirted with scoring when it stranded a pair of base runners in the second inning.
Ole Miss (16-10, 3-4) then went first in the scoring column with one run in the fourth inning and two more scores in the fifth inning.
The Bulldogs then broke through with three runs in the seventh inning to tie the contest.
Ironically, the inning began when Luke Alexander hit an apparent double but was called out for missing first base. Dustin Skelton followed with a one-out single. Hunter Vansau then hit a fielder's choice with Skelton being put out at second base.
Jake Mangum added a two-out single. Brent Rooker then hit a two-out double off the base of the outfield wall. After an intentional walk to Ryan Gridley, Cole Gordon lined the game-tying RBI-single.
Things remained tied until the Bulldogs had some good fortune in the ninth inning.
After a strikeout to start the inning, Mangum hit a double to left center. Rooker was intentionally walked. A ground ball out moved Mangum to third base. Gordon then reached on a dropped third strike bringing Mangum home with the eventual game-winner.
Ole Miss had built its lead with a Thomas Dillard RBI-double in the fourth inning. Tate Blackman increased the lead with a two-run double in the fifth inning. All seven runs in the game were scored with two outs.
In the Ole Miss ninth inning, a walk and error opened the door. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Self gave way to Price who had a pair of strikeouts (sandwiched around an intentional walk) to nail down his SEC-best seventh save.
The Bulldogs had seven hits and stranded 10 base runners. Mangum led the way with two hits.
Konnor Pilkington threw five innings, allowing three hits and three runs (all earned), with five strikeouts and three walks. Jacob Barton and Trey Jolly preceded Self (4-0) and Price.
Blackman finished with two of Ole Miss' four hits. Will Ethridge (1-2) took the loss in relief.
The Bulldogs and Rebels will retake the field for another nationally-televised contest on Friday at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network as State will look to clinch the series victory.
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